Parents' Guide to

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Emotional, violent action treats mental illness sensitively.

Game PlayStation 4, Windows 2017
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 12+

Nudity Rating is a Joke and Swearing is Minimal

Exactly what the title says, honestly. The combat is somewhat graphic; blood spurts when you hit an enemy and environments can have corpses strewn about, but definitely NOTHING that a teen (even 11 or 12) couldn't handle. As for language, there had maybe been 1 'F word' slipped, but that was pretty much the most of it. Some use of the 'S word'. (Sh*t) Nudity, for one thing, is a complete joke in this game. To be perfectly honest, I don't even know why it is rated to have nudity, as there is NONE! There is ONE instance of a female 'giant' thing, having cleavage showing and such but honestly, it's nothing. If your teen has had sex ed., then they would know what a naked body looks like. The only thing I would be concerned about would be the emotional maturity centered around mental illness. The game takes a strong stride on the heavy side with schizophrenia; when you're in combat, you hear voices screaming and whispering things like: "Kill them!", "He's coming closer!", "Too slow, pathetic." and it goes on. If your child has the emotional knowledge and maturity to deal with this concept in the game, then by all means, I would HIGHLY recommend this game!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 15+

So good

So. It seems that a lot of people here don't understand that this game is a look at psychosis. Thats a huge part of why it was made actually, as a study of psychosis, to make the player feel something akin to what someone with actual psychosis would feel. It can be hard to play at times thanks to this but, its an incredible, tragic, and beautiful game. Graphically its incredible, with very satisfying fights, and where basic, fun puzzle solving. Overall its excellent, it's wonderful, do yourself a favor and go play it

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10):
Kids say (8):

This action game is a refreshingly different, borderline disturbing game that's completely engaging and stays around in your mind because of the emotions it evokes. You'll connect with this traumatized character as more of her story unfolds while you play, and you might second-guess what's real and what's in her mind. The gameplay is a healthy mix of puzzle solving and combat. With the former, you'll be asked to find shapes in nature to unlock areas, lining up objects the right way, and navigating through dark caves using audible clues. The voice talent and music are fantastic, and so are the graphics. Truthfully, this is one gorgeous game that looks so real a passerby might do a double-take. The Ninja Theory developers did a great job exploring mental illness, using sights and sounds that help you relate to what the protagonist is going through.

As impressive as this game is, there are some issues. One is its short play, coming in at six to eight hours. This is a minor issue, because it's really about quality, not quantity for some games. Plus, it's priced right at $30. Now, because there's no HUD, you'll have to go through some trial and error to see what works and what doesn't -- and the game isn't very forgiving. If Senua dies too many times, you'll need to start this adventure all over from the beginning. It's hard to see why the developers decided on this, as it will rub some the wrong way, but that doesn't take away too much from the game. There's a bit of repetition in the puzzles, but it's forgivable. Overall, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is one of 2017's top games so far. It's a beautiful, atmospheric, and emotionally engaging adventure that will make you want to tell all your friends about it.

Game Details

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